Professional clothing for careers Springtime isn’t just a time to clean up your home and office. Open the closet and give your wardrobe a spring cleaning as well. It is important to spruce up your professional look for the new season—but you don’t have to spend a fortune doing so.

Research & Development

Before heading out to shop, do some wardrobe research. Go through your closet and see what fits, what needs repairing, and what needs to be trashed. “Some people have a closet filled with things but don’t have a complete wardrobe—they are missing a few key pieces,” says style expert Daisy Lewellyn, author of Never Pay Retail Again: Shop Smart, Spend Less, and Look Your Best Ever. “You want to make sure your wardrobe fits your lifestyle, body type, and current trends.”

Once you have cleaned out your clothes of unnecessary items, now it is time to develop your spring look. Build on those staples you have,” says Lewellyn. If you already have the staples in your closet, make sure they still work for you. “Each season, you need to maintain and replenish your staples. If you have put on or lost weight, you need to replace those staples. Don’t wear clothes to work that don’t fit. It is just not a professional look.”  

Ordering Supplies

For men, there a few key items they need to have in their closets for spring. Lewellyn recommends men have three great fitting suits—two dark and one light color. “Your suits need to be tailored,” she notes. “There is nothing worse than a man in a bad fitting suit.” Also, make sure to have some great fitting suits, a nice looking sweater, as well as a “cool” pair of jeans and/or flat-front (not pleated) khakis and pullover for a crisp causal look. For shoes, Lewellyn suggests having a slip on and lace up shoes.

For women, don’t just have a LBD—little black dress but also “a LCD—a little colored dress, one that you can throw on in an instant,” she says. “Also, for women, don’t just think of the power suit, get a power cut. It is important to look professional from head to toe.”  Jeans are a must-have in one’s wardrobe —but make sure they fit your body type.

Balancing the Budget

You don’t have to break the bank to update your wardrobe for spring. Lewellyn suggests shopping for clothes during the off season (so get spring clothes in winter or at the end of spring) and check the department stores for when they have their seasonal  sales. They have to move out merchandise at the end of a season so it is a great time to pick up clothes for the next year.

And shop online. “Check out sites like Gilt Groupe,” says Lewellyn. “It is a members-only website, which anyone can join, and has designer clothing sales.”

Visual Resume

Your look can affect how you are viewed not only as a potential employee in a job interview, but even as the head honcho in charge. “You get one chance to make a visual impression, so it is important to have your professional look together,” says Lewellyn. “You always want to dress for that promotion or for your career goals.”